Digital Parenting: 7 Tips Parents Should Teach Their Children

Collaborative post by another author. People, especially people born before 1960, like to act as though children have it easy. Maybe that was true for people born from 1960 to the year 2000. But everyone who is a kid today has it rough. Everyone can see it; the things that are being done to adults over social media are being done to children as well. And the traps adults are falling into are being laid for children too.

Stock image illustrating a digital world from Canva pro


In short, parents need to be thinking of how to teach their children how to approach the digital age responsibly. But that is not an easy thing to do, as the digital age is barely any less new than the children that are growing up inside it. It is all a huge experiment we are part of.

So, today we are going to go over 7 tips that parents should give their kids. Some of these will be strict rules, but others will be helpful guidance, as children need a mix of both of these.

 

Step Away After 140 Characters


This is one of the tips that will be easiest for kids to follow for a few reasons. To begin with, it gives a precise number of how many letters, numbers, symbols, and/or spaces they should commit to any online interaction. That precision will give the restriction structure.

And secondly there is some precedent to the number. Twitter originally only allowed tweets up to 140 characters in length. You are basically invoking old laws to keep them honest. This will help them stay away from overly complicated, theoretical, or chronically-online discussions.


Avoid React Content


The basis of this rule is that it is easy to follow. “React Content” is a genre of YouTube and Twitch wherein rather than viewing a piece of media, a person views someone else reacting to that piece of media. This originated from people wanting to see others react to things that the people have already seen, thereby vicariously reliving the excitement of experiencing it anew.

It has devolved, however, into mostly being about having one’s opinions on things streamlined. Avoiding this kind of media will help kids form their own opinions on things, rather than waiting for someone else to form an opinion for them to mirror. This boosts media literacy.


Don’t Multitask


It is hard to keep a handle on kids’ attention, but once you have it, then you have it. The same goes for any given activity they are doing. However, it is possible to make bad use of their attention. And one of the big struggles with technology is that it does exactly that.

Prioritise making sure your child only does one thing at a time. When they eat, they eat. When they exercise, they exercise. At first, this constraint feels almost monk-like. But what it forces you (and your child) to do is find ways to make these activities meaningful in their own ways.


Use Technology Only When Necessary


This is a highly broad piece of advice, so let us focus in on when this is most appropriate: Imagine that your child has to read a book for class. Can they read that book on a tablet? Or their phone? Or listen to it through an audiobook format? Yes, but that should be a last resort.

If your child simply cannot read a book any other way, then it is better they read books that way than not read at all. But if it is physically possible for them to sit still long enough to read a book on paper, then do that, as it is a particularly under-stimulating activity.

This will help their ability to pay attention when under-stimulated elsewhere in life.


Keep Them Active


While we are on the topic of stimulation, a big part of bad digital habits come from bad habits elsewhere. A child that feels as though the world is at their fingertips in the confines of their own home will swiftly lose their ability to make the decision to venture outside of the home.

For this reason, is pays to keep them active. And in this case, activity does not mean distance from technology. If they need to listen to music or an audiobook while going for a walk to make it feel like it is worth their time, so be it. Better than them staying in their room all day.


Be a Role Model


One of the most common reasons that kids behave badly online is that they see their parents behave badly. If a parent is reacting harshly to things they see on the internet, the child will get the impression that this is an acceptable way to act, regardless of what the parent actually says.


Do Not Let Them Stalk People


You will be surprised how hard this rule is to enforce. But it makes sense to anyone who has looked up an old high school friend on Facebook or Instagram: Stalking these days is easy.

It is so easy that you can fall into it without thinking about it. People used to wonder about the lives of others. Now it is as easy to answer those questions as it is to ask them. The trick here is making sure that your child’s behaviour (as well as your own) both begins and ends with asking.

Keeping them from going further than that will help them focus on themselves rather than constantly thinking about the image other people are presenting in the way that Facebook, Instagram, and so many other social media sites benefit from.


Conclusion


The digital age has destroyed the cultural psyche. Everyone is constantly being given reasons to doubt people. It is easier to believe in entropy than it is to believe in love, despite there being far more examples of love than entropy in the lives of every human that has ever lived.

You can help your child see past that. If you need help, then you can access the Smith Thompson home security in Melissa here

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